Hecuba





In Greek mythology, Hecuba was the second wife of Priam, king of the city of Troy*. She bore Priam many children, including Hector*, Paris*, Polydorus, and Cassandra*.

prophet one who claims to have received divine messages or insights omen sign of future events

While pregnant with Paris, Hecuba had a dream in which she gave birth to a fiery torch that was covered with snakes. The prophets of Troy told her that this was a bad omen and predicted that if the child lived, he would be responsible for the fall of Troy. Therefore, upon Paris's birth, Hecuba ordered two servants to kill the child. Unable to perform such a terrible act, the servants left Paris on a mountain to die, and he was found and raised by a shepherd.

Years later, Paris returned to Troy, and as predicted, he caused the city's destruction. He began the Trojan Warf by taking away Helen, wife of King Menelaus of Sparta. All the rulers of Greece had sworn to defend Helen. To rescue her, they declared war on Troy, sacking and burning it after a long siege.

Hecuba became a slave to the Greek hero Odysseus*. On his way back to Greece, Odysseus journeyed through Thrace, which was ruled by King Polymestor. Before the war, Hecuba had asked Polymestor to protect her son Polydorus. However, upon reaching Thrace, she found that the king had killed the boy. The enraged Hecuba tore out Polymestor's eyes and murdered both of his sons. As Odysseus was trying to control her, she turned into a dog. Her tomb was placed on a rocky outcrop located on a narrow strip of water called the Hellespont between Greece and Turkey.

Hecuba is found in the Iliad * and the Aeneid * . She also appears in the plays Hecuba and The Trojan Women by Euripides* and is mentioned in Shakespeare's Hamlet.

See also Aeneid, the ; Cassandra ; Greek Mythology ; Hector ; Helen of Troy ; Iliad, the ; Odysseus ; Odyssey, the ; Paris ; Trojan War .



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